This is the number one rated course in South Africa, and a visit shows why it has that status.
The course is described by their own website as: “Leopard Creek has grown out of the vision of a banker and skills and expertise of one of the world’s great golfers.” Referring of course to our own Gary Player who designed the course.
The location is describe thus, also from their website; “Situated near Malelane in the heart of Mpumalanga, on the southern border of the Kruger National Park. The 360 hectare development is bordered to the north and the west by the picturesque Crocodile River and the Kruger National Park. Typical bushveld koppies overlook the course from the east, providing an ideal backdrop for a magnificent course.” Now to border on the Kruger and have the natural game walking free within the grounds, makes this one very special place.
The Course is a magnificent layout; “Golfing hazards take on a new dimension at Leopard Creek, for much of the water is home to the magnificent creatures for which the river is named, crocodiles. Extensive use has been made of water features and sightings of crocodile, hippo, antelope, buffalo and wild boar are commonplace, either on the course itself or in or next to the river running alongside several holes.”
The 505 meter par-five 13th is one of Leopard Creek’s most memorable holes. Here the green is right on the edge of the Crocodile river but 32 meters above the level of the water, offering magnificent views up the river and into the Kruger Park.
Gary Player is especially proud of the par-five 18th with its island green and the par-four 9th with its peninsula green jutting out of the same body of water.
A few photos of the eighteenth green and surrounds….
This is a special treat if you can get to visit this course.. their website can be found at http://www.leopardcreek.co.za/
A visit to Sishen where my Son lives has had me photographing and playing this course on a regular basis…..
A wonderful club house greets you, with a restaurant, Ladies bar and lounge, members pub, and a lovely big stoep where braais and socialising takes place on a regular basis..
The course is built within a Camel thorn forest, a protected tree, so unless a permit is obtained even a dead tree may not be touched… apart from this being a hazard if you play off line it certainly adds to the beauty of the course..
Now for some of the views of the course… a tough course, with great greens that run true… they have some problems but when you consider you’re in the Kalahari….. semi desert…. the course is wonderful..
The Camel Thorn tree can be a great hazard…. strike one and get a thorn in the ball, throw it away. But it also has a habit of retaining your ball if it wants too….
That is in this tree…. way out of reach…..
But then some will refuse to loose a ball and go in search of it….(Where’s the bikini..???)
The tree is in flower at the moment and I took this photo so you get an idea of the thorns and flowers..
I love the signage that the course has… the pictures are mounted on old Railway sleepers… the red-billed buffalo weavers nests, adorn many of the thorn trees….
They have now started to build houses in and around the Golf Course and it is being done very tastefully with them being well back from the course and well camouflaged. Their web site is well worth a visit…
They even have a Guest house next to the first fairway… what a place to stay…
Watch out for the wild life and birds… there are some magnificent opportunities to photograph them.. look at my other blog to see some of what I have captured here….
Situated in the tranquillity of the Central Drakensberg, boasting the most spectacular view of Champagne Castle and Cathkin Peak, lies Champagne Sports Resort. This cosy hideaway’s unique combination of convenient location, country club atmosphere, luxury accommodation and friendly staff makes packing your bags to leave this eternal place a challenge.
Champagne Sports Resort is more than a hotel in the mountains, it is an experience. From the 18-hole championship golf course to the roaming herds of Blesbok and the rare birdlife that inhabit the estate, there is something for everyone to enjoy. And, with five dams stocked with bass or trout, as well as outstanding sporting facilities and cultural activities, this enduring resort provides a balance between recreation for sports enthusiasts and tranquillity for those seeking relaxation.
Only a four-and-a-half hours drive from Johannesburg and 2-hours from Durban, the resort is ideally situated for both relaxing leisure weekends and for corporate conferences.
Put your skills to the test on our 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Hugh Baiocchi to provide an exciting challenge whatever your handicap.
The clubhouse is easily accessible from the resort and you have access to caddies, motorized golf carts, a well-stocked Pro-Shop, as well as lessons from our Resident Professional Golfer.
The clubhouse is also equipped with both ladies and gentleman’s locker room and a bar, and light meals are served in the golf lounge and on the magnificent veranda which overlooks the golf course and the mountains beyond.